Skip to main content

Appeals court upholds Berlusconi tax evasion sentence

By Hada Messia, CNN
May 9, 2013 -- Updated 0038 GMT (0838 HKT)
Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's sentence for tax evasion has been upheld.
Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's sentence for tax evasion has been upheld.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Berlusconi can appeal a second time to a higher court
  • The former prime minister was convicted in October
  • He and others were accused of avoiding taxes on film purchases

Rome (CNN) -- An Italian appeals court in Milan upheld Wednesday a four-year prison sentence for former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Berlusconi, 76, received the sentenced last October when he was convicted for tax evasion. He was also barred from public office for five years.

Under Italian law, he can also appeal Wednesday's ruling to a higher court.

Berlusconi -- who served on and off as prime minister between 1994 and 2011 -- is arguably one of the most colorful and controversial figures in the lively history of Italian politics. For years, he has been entangled in fraud, corruption and sex scandals that have often reached Italian courts.

But the tax evasion case was the first one that resulted in a conviction.

His trial, which also involved executives from Berlusconi's Mediaset television group and the head of a Swiss bank, concerned the purchase of TV rights for films that were then resold within the group at inflated prices.

Prosecutors said the scheme, involving about 3,000 American films, allowed those involved to avoid a major tax bill.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1903 GMT (0303 HKT)
For years, Morten Storm moved between two worlds. A radical Islamist turned double agent is lifting the lid on some of the world's best-kept secrets.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1534 GMT (2334 HKT)
What will happen to Scotland's business (not to mention its currency) if they vote to leave?
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
The Ebola virus, very deadly and currently without a cure, is fast-spreading throughout the small West African country.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
Go to any provincial city in China and you'd be forgiven for thinking the national youth pastimes are online gaming and flirting.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
ISIS has captured the minds of a new generation of global jihadists. What does it mean for al Qaeda?
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 2232 GMT (0632 HKT)
ISIS has slaughtered hundreds. Now nearly 40 nations have agreed to take the fight to the militants. But what can they do?
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 0851 GMT (1651 HKT)
North Korea calls its human rights a "superior system."
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 0929 GMT (1729 HKT)
In Wenzhou, called the "Jerusalem of China," authorities have demolished churches.
Are you Muslim? What do you want the world to know about your religion?
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1429 GMT (2229 HKT)
A number of Paralympic athletes in Ghana are hoping to use sport to change negative public perceptions.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1142 GMT (1942 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT